少年派的奇幻漂流 Chapter 47
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Chapter 47
The day broke, humid and overcast1, with the wind warm and the sky a dense2 blanket of grey clouds that looked like bunched-up, dirty cotton sheets. The sea had not changed. It heaved the lifeboat up and down in a regular motion.
The zebra was still alive. I couldn't believe it. It had a two-foot-wide hole in its body, a fistula like a freshly erupted volcano, spewed half-eaten organs glistening3 in the light or giving off a dull, dry shine, yet, in its strictly4 essential parts, it continued to pump with life, if weakly. Movement was confined to a tremor5 in the rear leg and an occasional blinking of the eyes. I was horrified6. I had no idea a living being could sustain so much injury and go on living.
The hyena7 was tense. It was not settling down to its night of rest despite the daylight. Perhaps it was a result of taking in so much food; its stomach was grossly dilated8. Orange Juice was in a dangerous mood too. She was fidgeting and showing her teeth.
I stayed where I was, curled up near the prow9. I was weak in body and in soul. I was afraid I would fall into the water if I tried to balance on the oar10.
The zebra was dead by noon. It was glassy-eyed and had become perfectly11 indifferent to the hyena's occasional assaults.
Violence broke out in the afternoon. Tension had risen to an unbearable12 level. The hyena was yipping. Orange Juice was grunting13 and making loud lip-smacking noises. All of a sudden their complaining fused and shot up to top volume. The hyena jumped over the remains14 of the zebra and made for Orange Juice.
I believe I have made clear the menace of a hyena. It was certainly so clear in my mind that I gave up on Orange Juice's life before she even had a chance to defend it. I underestimated her. I underestimated her grit15.
She thumped17 the beast on the head. It was something shocking.
It made my heart melt with love and admiration18 and fear. Did I mention she was a former pet, callously19 discarded by her Indonesian owners? Her story was like that of every inappropriate pet. It goes something like this: The pet is bought when it is small and cute. It gives much amusement to its owners. Then it grows in size and in appetite. It reveals itself incapable20 of being house-trained. Its increasing strength makes it harder to handle. One day the maid pulls the sheet from its nest because she has decided21 to wash it, or the son jokingly pinches a morsel22 of food from its hands-over some such seemingly small matter, the pet flashes its teeth in anger and the family is frightened. The very next day the pet finds itself bouncing at the back of the family Jeep in the company of its human brothers and sisters. A jungle is entered. Everyone in the vehicle finds it a strange and formidable place. A clearing is come to. It is briefly23 explored. All of a sudden the Jeep roars to life and its wheels kick up dirt and the pet sees all the ones it has known and loved looking at it from the back window as the Jeep speeds away. It has been left behind. The pet does not understand. It is as unprepared for this jungle as its human siblings24 are. It waits around for their return, trying to quell25 the panic rising in it. They do not return. The sun sets. Quickly it becomes depressed26 and gives up on life. It dies of hunger and exposure in the next few days. Or is attacked by dogs.
Orange Juice could have been one of these forlorn pets. Instead she ended up at the Pondicherry Zoo. She remained gentle and unaggressive her whole life. I have memories from when I was a child of her never-ending arms surrounding me, her fingers, each as long as my whole hand, picking at my hair. She was a young female practising her maternal27 skills. As she matured into her full wild self, I observed her at a distance. I thought I knew her so well that I could predict her every move. I thought I knew not only her habits but also her limits. This display of ferocity, of savage28 courage, made me realize that I was wrong. All my life I had known only a part of her.
She thumped the beast on the head. And what a thump16 it was. The beast's head hit the bench it had just reached, making such a sharp noise, besides splaying its front legs flat out, that I thought surely either the bench or its jaw29 or both must break. The hyena was up again in an instant, every hair on its body as erect30 as the hairs on my head, but its hostility31 wasn't quite so kinetic32 now. It withdrew. I exulted33. Orange Juice's stirring defence brought a glow to my heart.
It didn't last long.
An adult female orang-utan cannot defeat an adult male spotted34 hyena. That is the plain empirical truth. Let it become known among zoologists35. Had Orange Juice been a male, had she loomed36 as large on the scales as she did in my heart, it might have been another matter. But portly and overfed though she was from living in the comfort of a zoo, even so she tipped the scales at barely 110 pounds. Female orang-utans are half the size of males. But it is not simply a question of weight and brute37 strength. Orange Juice was far from defenceless. What it comes down to is attitude and knowledge. What does a fruit eater know about killing38? Where would it learn where to bite, how hard, for how long? An orang-utan may be taller, may have very strong and agile39 arms and long canines40, but if it does not know how to use these as weapons, they are of little use. The hyena, with only its jaws41, will overcome the ape because it knows what it wants and how to get it.
The hyena came back. It jumped on the bench and caught Orange Juice at the wrist before she could strike. Orange Juice hit the hyena on the head with her other arm, but the blow only made the beast snarl42 viciously. She made to bite, but the hyena moved faster. Alas43, Orange Juice's defence lacked precision and coherence44. Her fear was something useless that only hampered45 her. The hyena let go of her wrist and expertly got to her throat.
Dumb with pain and horror, I watched as Orange Juice thumped the hyena ineffectually and pulled at its hair while her throat was being squeezed by its jaws. To the end she reminded me of us: her eyes expressed fear in such a humanlike way, as did her strained whimpers. She made an attempt to climb onto the tarpaulin46. The hyena violently shook her. She fell off the bench to the bottom of the lifeboat, the hyena with her. I heard noises but no longer saw anything.
I was next. That much was clear to me. With some difficulty I stood up. I could hardly see through the tears in my eyes. I was no longer crying because of my family or because of my impending47 death. I was far too numb48 to consider either. I was crying because I was exceedingly tired and it was time to get rest.
I advanced over the tarpaulin. Though tautly49 stretched at the end of the boat, it sagged50 a little in the middle; it made for three or four toilsome, bouncy steps. And I had to reach over the net and the rolled-up tarpaulin. And these efforts in a lifeboat that was constantly rolling. In the condition I was in, it felt like a great trek51. When I laid my foot on the middle cross bench, its hardness had an invigorating effect on me, as if I had just stepped on solid ground. I planted both my feet on the bench and enjoyed my firm stand. I was feeling dizzy, but since the capital moment of my life was coming up this dizziness only added to my sense of frightened sublimity52. I raised my hands to the level of my chest-the weapons I had against the hyena. It looked up at me. Its mouth was red. Orange Juice lay next to it, against the dead zebra. Her arms were spread wide open and her short legs were folded together and slightly turned to one side. She looked like a simian53 Christ on the Cross. Except for her head. She was beheaded. The neck wound was still bleeding. It was a sight horrible to the eyes and killing to the spirit. Just before throwing myself upon the hyena, to collect myself before the final struggle, I looked down.
Between my feet, under the bench, I beheld54 Richard Parker's head. It was gigantic. It looked the size of the planet Jupiter to my dazed senses. His paws were like volumes of Encyclopaedia55 Britannica.
I made my way back to the bow and collapsed56.
I spent the night in a state of delirium57. I kept thinking I had slept and was awaking after dreaming of a tiger.

    成年雌性猩猩打不过成年雄性斑点鬣狗。这是根据经验总结出的明显事实。让动物学家们了解这一点吧D如果“橘子汁”是只雄猩猩,如果她在磅秤上和她在我心中的分量一样重,事情也许会不一样。但是尽管她因为生活在动物园里,所以吃得太多,身体肥胖,她也只有1 10磅重。雌猩猩的个头只有雄猩猩一半大。但这不仅仅是一个重量和蛮力的问题。“橘子汁”并非毫无防御能力。最终起决定作用的是态度和知识。以水果为食的动物对捕杀知道多少?它能从哪里学到谚往哪儿咬,咬多狠,咬多久?猩猩也许高一些,也许有强壮灵巧的手臂和长长的犬齿,但是如果它不知道如何将这丝当做武器使用,那么这些就没有用处。鬣狗只用嘴便能打败猿猴,因为它知道自己想要什么,也知道如何去得到。


1 overcast cJ2xV     
  • The overcast and rainy weather found out his arthritis.阴雨天使他的关节炎发作了。
  • The sky is overcast with dark clouds.乌云满天。
2 dense aONzX     
  • The general ambushed his troops in the dense woods. 将军把部队埋伏在浓密的树林里。
  • The path was completely covered by the dense foliage. 小路被树叶厚厚地盖了一层。
3 glistening glistening     
adj.闪耀的,反光的v.湿物闪耀,闪亮( glisten的现在分词 )
  • Her eyes were glistening with tears. 她眼里闪着晶莹的泪花。
  • Her eyes were glistening with tears. 她眼睛中的泪水闪着柔和的光。 来自《用法词典》
4 strictly GtNwe     
  • His doctor is dieting him strictly.他的医生严格规定他的饮食。
  • The guests were seated strictly in order of precedence.客人严格按照地位高低就座。
5 tremor Tghy5     
  • There was a slight tremor in his voice.他的声音有点颤抖。
  • A slight earth tremor was felt in California.加利福尼亚发生了轻微的地震。
6 horrified 8rUzZU     
  • The whole country was horrified by the killings. 全国都对这些凶杀案感到大为震惊。
  • We were horrified at the conditions prevailing in local prisons. 地方监狱的普遍状况让我们震惊。
7 hyena k47yz     
  • African hyena noted for its distinctive howl.非洲鬣狗,以其特别的嚎叫而闻名。
  • The hyena's public image is not aided by its ridiculous appearance.鬣狗滑稽的外表无助于改善它在公众心中的形象。
8 dilated 1f1ba799c1de4fc8b7c6c2167ba67407     
adj.加宽的,扩大的v.(使某物)扩大,膨胀,张大( dilate的过去式和过去分词 )
  • Her eyes dilated with fear. 她吓得瞪大了眼睛。
  • The cat dilated its eyes. 猫瞪大了双眼。 来自《简明英汉词典》
9 prow T00zj     
  • The prow of the motor-boat cut through the water like a knife.汽艇的船头像一把刀子劈开水面向前行驶。
  • He stands on the prow looking at the seadj.他站在船首看着大海。
10 oar EH0xQ     
  • The sailors oar slowly across the river.水手们慢慢地划过河去。
  • The blade of the oar was bitten off by a shark.浆叶被一条鲨鱼咬掉了。
11 perfectly 8Mzxb     
  • The witnesses were each perfectly certain of what they said.证人们个个对自己所说的话十分肯定。
  • Everything that we're doing is all perfectly above board.我们做的每件事情都是光明正大的。
12 unbearable alCwB     
  • It is unbearable to be always on thorns.老是处于焦虑不安的情况中是受不了的。
  • The more he thought of it the more unbearable it became.他越想越觉得无法忍受。
13 grunting ae2709ef2cd9ee22f906b0a6a6886465     
  • He pulled harder on the rope, grunting with the effort. 他边用力边哼声,使出更大的力气拉绳子。
  • Pigs were grunting and squealing in the yard. 猪在院子里哼哼地叫个不停。
14 remains 1kMzTy     
  • He ate the remains of food hungrily.他狼吞虎咽地吃剩余的食物。
  • The remains of the meal were fed to the dog.残羹剩饭喂狗了。
15 grit LlMyH     
  • The soldiers showed that they had plenty of grit. 士兵们表现得很有勇气。
  • I've got some grit in my shoe.我的鞋子里弄进了一些砂子。
16 thump sq2yM     
  • The thief hit him a thump on the head.贼在他的头上重击一下。
  • The excitement made her heart thump.她兴奋得心怦怦地跳。
17 thumped 0a7f1b69ec9ae1663cb5ed15c0a62795     
v.重击, (指心脏)急速跳动( thump的过去式和过去分词 )
  • Dave thumped the table in frustration . 戴夫懊恼得捶打桌子。
  • He thumped the table angrily. 他愤怒地用拳捶击桌子。
18 admiration afpyA     
  • He was lost in admiration of the beauty of the scene.他对风景之美赞不绝口。
  • We have a great admiration for the gold medalists.我们对金牌获得者极为敬佩。
19 callously dec3b5c8c8e051ec6020b11c100b4bff     
  • Sri Lanka has callously ignored calls for a humanitarian cease-fire. 斯里兰卡无情地忽视人道停火的呼吁。 来自互联网
  • The pendulum ticks callously, heartlessly. 这是谁的遗训? 来自互联网
20 incapable w9ZxK     
  • He would be incapable of committing such a cruel deed.他不会做出这么残忍的事。
  • Computers are incapable of creative thought.计算机不会创造性地思维。
21 decided lvqzZd     
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
22 morsel Q14y4     
  • He refused to touch a morsel of the food they had brought.他们拿来的东西他一口也不吃。
  • The patient has not had a morsel of food since the morning.从早上起病人一直没有进食。
23 briefly 9Styo     
  • I want to touch briefly on another aspect of the problem.我想简单地谈一下这个问题的另一方面。
  • He was kidnapped and briefly detained by a terrorist group.他被一个恐怖组织绑架并短暂拘禁。
24 siblings 709961e45d6808c7c9131573b3a8874b     
n.兄弟,姐妹( sibling的名词复数 )
  • A triplet sleeps amongst its two siblings. 一个三胞胎睡在其两个同胞之间。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • She has no way of tracking the donor or her half-siblings down. 她没办法找到那个捐精者或她的兄弟姐妹。 来自时文部分
25 quell J02zP     
  • Soldiers were sent in to quell the riots.士兵们被派去平息骚乱。
  • The armed force had to be called out to quell violence.不得不出动军队来镇压暴力行动。
26 depressed xu8zp9     
  • When he was depressed,he felt utterly divorced from reality.他心情沮丧时就感到完全脱离了现实。
  • His mother was depressed by the sad news.这个坏消息使他的母亲意志消沉。
27 maternal 57Azi     
  • He is my maternal uncle.他是我舅舅。
  • The sight of the hopeless little boy aroused her maternal instincts.那个绝望的小男孩的模样唤起了她的母性。
28 savage ECxzR     
  • The poor man received a savage beating from the thugs.那可怜的人遭到暴徒的痛打。
  • He has a savage temper.他脾气粗暴。
29 jaw 5xgy9     
  • He delivered a right hook to his opponent's jaw.他给了对方下巴一记右钩拳。
  • A strong square jaw is a sign of firm character.强健的方下巴是刚毅性格的标志。
30 erect 4iLzm     
  • She held her head erect and her back straight.她昂着头,把背挺得笔直。
  • Soldiers are trained to stand erect.士兵们训练站得笔直。
31 hostility hdyzQ     
  • There is open hostility between the two leaders.两位领导人表现出公开的敌意。
  • His hostility to your plan is well known.他对你的计划所持的敌意是众所周知的。
32 kinetic p2Fxs     
  • There exist many sources of energy both potential and kinetic.存在着许多势能和动能的能源。
  • The kinetic theory of gases is the best known example.气体动力学理论就是最有名的例子。
33 exulted 4b9c48640b5878856e35478d2f1f2046     
狂喜,欢跃( exult的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The people exulted at the victory. 人们因胜利而欢腾。
  • The people all over the country exulted in the success in launching a new satellite. 全国人民为成功地发射了一颗新的人造卫星而欢欣鼓舞。
34 spotted 7FEyj     
  • The milkman selected the spotted cows,from among a herd of two hundred.牛奶商从一群200头牛中选出有斑点的牛。
  • Sam's shop stocks short spotted socks.山姆的商店屯积了有斑点的短袜。
35 zoologists f4b4b0086bc1410e2fe80f76b127c27e     
动物学家( zoologist的名词复数 )
  • Zoologists refer barnacles to Crustanceans. 动物学家把螺蛳归入甲壳类。
  • It is now a source of growing interest for chemists and zoologists as well. 它现在也是化学家和动物学家愈感兴趣的一个所在。
36 loomed 9423e616fe6b658c9a341ebc71833279     
v.隐约出现,阴森地逼近( loom的过去式和过去分词 );隐约出现,阴森地逼近
  • A dark shape loomed up ahead of us. 一个黑糊糊的影子隐隐出现在我们的前面。
  • The prospect of war loomed large in everyone's mind. 战事将起的庞大阴影占据每个人的心。 来自《简明英汉词典》
37 brute GSjya     
  • The aggressor troops are not many degrees removed from the brute.侵略军简直象一群野兽。
  • That dog is a dangerous brute.It bites people.那条狗是危险的畜牲,它咬人。
38 killing kpBziQ     
  • Investors are set to make a killing from the sell-off.投资者准备清仓以便大赚一笔。
  • Last week my brother made a killing on Wall Street.上个周我兄弟在华尔街赚了一大笔。
39 agile Ix2za     
  • She is such an agile dancer!她跳起舞来是那么灵巧!
  • An acrobat has to be agile.杂技演员必须身手敏捷。
40 canines a19dc7100e8d5dd734b7ad167656d5d1     
n.犬齿( canine的名词复数 );犬牙;犬科动物
  • For example, the teeth are more primitive. There are large canines and unusually shaped incisors. 譬如,牙齿更为原始,有大的犬齿和非常合适的门齿。 来自辞典例句
  • Well-to-canines can attend doggy daycare centers while their owners work. 富人家的狗在主人上班的时候可以去狗狗托管中心。 来自互联网
41 jaws cq9zZq     
  • The antelope could not escape the crocodile's gaping jaws. 那只羚羊无法从鱷鱼张开的大口中逃脱。
  • The scored jaws of a vise help it bite the work. 台钳上有刻痕的虎钳牙帮助它紧咬住工件。
42 snarl 8FAzv     
  • At the seaside we could hear the snarl of the waves.在海边我们可以听见波涛的咆哮。
  • The traffic was all in a snarl near the accident.事故发生处附近交通一片混乱。
43 alas Rx8z1     
  • Alas!The window is broken!哎呀!窗子破了!
  • Alas,the truth is less romantic.然而,真理很少带有浪漫色彩。
44 coherence jWGy3     
  • There was no coherence between the first and the second half of the film.这部电影的前半部和后半部没有连贯性。
  • Environmental education is intended to give these topics more coherence.环境教育的目的是使这些课题更加息息相关。
45 hampered 3c5fb339e8465f0b89285ad0a790a834     
妨碍,束缚,限制( hamper的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The search was hampered by appalling weather conditions. 恶劣的天气妨碍了搜寻工作。
  • So thought every harassed, hampered, respectable boy in St. Petersburg. 圣彼德堡镇的那些受折磨、受拘束的体面孩子们个个都是这么想的。
46 tarpaulin nIszk     
  • The pool furniture was folded,stacked,and covered with a tarpaulin.游泳池的设备都已经折叠起来,堆在那里,还盖上了防水布。
  • The pool furniture was folded,stacked,and covered with a tarpaulin.游泳池的设备都已经折叠起来,堆在那里,还盖上了防水布。
47 impending 3qHzdb     
a.imminent, about to come or happen
  • Against a background of impending famine, heavy fighting took place. 即将发生饥荒之时,严重的战乱爆发了。
  • The king convoke parliament to cope with the impending danger. 国王召开国会以应付迫近眉睫的危险。
48 numb 0RIzK     
  • His fingers were numb with cold.他的手冻得发麻。
  • Numb with cold,we urged the weary horses forward.我们冻得发僵,催着疲惫的马继续往前走。
49 tautly 1f0fc88d555f8c8eebce6f98e2545591     
adv.绷紧地;紧张地; 结构严谨地;紧凑地
  • The rope was tautly stretched. 绳子拉得很紧。 来自互联网
50 sagged 4efd2c4ac7fe572508b0252e448a38d0     
  • The black reticule sagged under the weight of shapeless objects. 黑色的拎包由于装了各种形状的东西而中间下陷。
  • He sagged wearily back in his chair. 他疲倦地瘫坐到椅子上。
51 trek 9m8wi     
  • We often go pony-trek in the summer.夏季我们经常骑马旅行。
  • It took us the whole day to trek across the rocky terrain.我们花了一整天的时间艰难地穿过那片遍布岩石的地带。
52 sublimity bea9f6f3906788d411469278c1b62ee8     
  • It'suggests no crystal waters, no picturesque shores, no sublimity. 这决不会叫人联想到晶莹的清水,如画的两岸,雄壮的气势。
  • Huckleberry was filled with admiration of Tom's facility in writing, and the sublimity of his language. 对汤姆流利的书写、响亮的内容,哈克贝利心悦诚服。
53 simian 2ENyA     
  • Ada had a wrinkled,simian face.埃达有一张布满皱纹、长得像猿猴的脸。
  • Curiosity is the taproot of an intellectual life,the most valuable of our simian traits.好奇是高智生命的根源,也是我们类人猿特征中最有价值的部分。
54 beheld beheld     
v.看,注视( behold的过去式和过去分词 );瞧;看呀;(叙述中用于引出某人意外的出现)哎哟
  • His eyes had never beheld such opulence. 他从未见过这样的财富。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The soul beheld its features in the mirror of the passing moment. 灵魂在逝去的瞬间的镜子中看到了自己的模样。 来自英汉文学 - 红字
55 encyclopaedia Jp3xC     
  • An encyclopaedia contains a lot of knowledge.百科全书包含很多知识。
  • This is an encyclopaedia of philosophy.这是本哲学百科全书。
56 collapsed cwWzSG     
  • Jack collapsed in agony on the floor. 杰克十分痛苦地瘫倒在地板上。
  • The roof collapsed under the weight of snow. 房顶在雪的重压下突然坍塌下来。
57 delirium 99jyh     
n. 神智昏迷,说胡话;极度兴奋
  • In her delirium, she had fallen to the floor several times. 她在神志不清的状态下几次摔倒在地上。
  • For the next nine months, Job was in constant delirium.接下来的九个月,约伯处于持续精神错乱的状态。
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